Monday, May 7, 2012

Sectional Baseball, Full Moons, Sunny Mornings, Lawn Mowing, and Hockey Playoffs

As I left Ottoville on Friday night, pretty pleased with myself for getting that game completed in about 70 minutes, I noticed a large bank of clouds dropping slowly from the northeast towards the parking lot.   I talked briefly with Robert, another older umpire that I work with on occasion, and we headed out.  I took my usual route through the Van Wert County back roads towards Mercer County and Celina.   I get a text message from Garry who was working the Parkway at New Bremen game....he didn't get done, as a large amount of rain, complete with lightning and heavy rains caused them to postpone their game in the 5th inning.  Such is the way it was on Friday afternoon late....some games got in, some were "killed" off in the middle, depending on where the storms decided to pop up....I was lucky, Ottoville got hammered by the storms, but it was well after we completed our fast moving league game, won by the home team 2-1 over rival Miller City.

After getting home, I cracked open a cold one, clipped one of the hand rolled New Orleans Cigars that Garry had brought me back from his trip there a month ago, and sat on my back steps watching the lightning show, now in the south and east....the back yard got a few sprinkles, but I managed to take nearly 2 hours to smoke that torpedo, and finish listening to the Reds games, a win over Pittsburgh.

Tournament Saturday____

The tournament trail began for many and ended for half of those playing Saturday, in both boys baseball and girls softball.....

 I was assigned to work the Division 3 Baseball Sectional at Lima partner, Dave West is a Hall of Fame official with the Ohio High School Athletic Association....nearly 40 years each on the diamonds, basketball courts, and football fields of Western Ohio.  With me at 63 and Dave nearing 65, we were probably, age wise at least, the two senior umpires working the tournaments together.

The weather had cleared for our Noon start, and Dave worked the plate in the first game, a 6-2 victory for Delphos Jefferson over Bluffton....two foes from the Northwest Conference.   I would get the second game behind the plate, which I wanted....two good teams, Parkway from the MAC and Lima Bath from the was all that an umpire or fan could have wanted.  A few controversies, but minor, excellent pitching, and a 1-0 final, with Bath winning.  After a double, Dave and I called a balk on the Parkway starter, the runner moved to 3rd base, and scores on a one out ground ball to second....this was in the third inning, and that was the scoring.  Both starting pitchers, tossed complete games, both gave up just 3 hits, and both struck out 5.

The total time of the games, including a 45 minute break between the first and second game was only 3 hours 45 minutes....we done good!  I headed for home, where I would be in bed, pretty much wore out, before 8pm.

Sunrise, full moons, and Flyer Follies____

Going to bed early, it gave me a chance to crawl out of the sack around 5am.  Clear skies let the "Super Moon", the brightest full moon of the year, shine through my window.  I snapped a shot with my cell phone, but really full moons take time a more than a digital point and shoot to come out good, a cell phone camera sure won't get the job done.

Anyway I  crawled out of the sack grabbed some coffee, and left the house just after see what kind of sunrise and maybe a full moon shot as it sank in the west....the results were mixed.  The moon photos were mediocre at best, the sunrise over Grand Lake and Windy Point weren't bad...but I have taken hundreds of those shots over the past year or so....I need something new.

The rest of Sunday was spent mowing mom's lawn, sitting out back with Anissa and Patrica, and finally watching my beloved Flyers stink up the ice rink in New Jersey, losing 4-2 to the Devils, and the game wasn't that close.  Philly jumped out 2-0 but New Jersey dominated the game, finally putting it away on an empty net goal to take a 3-1 lead in the best of 7, with Tuesday being an elimination game in Philadelphia.

This Week Ahead___

This week I still have plenty of baseball left, and a doctor's appointment for tomorrow.  Patricia also has one, concerming her knee....I expect she will need to undergo surgery...I believe she had minor surgery on the other one some 20 years ago, maybe it was 15...hard to keep track of time.  That is the one part of my body that, despite the wear and tear of officiating and umpire work, that has held up on me...{knock wood several times}

My appointment is a look at the blood work that I had done last week....frankly I still do not feel "normal" for me....and was hoping to get back to lifting weights and a more active lifestyle, as I had before the surgery.  Whether it is the medication, as I suspect, or just a slow recovery, which I don't believe for a minute, things are not back to normal.  Will they ever get back there?  Frankly I don't know...sure I can still umpire, still mow a lawn with a walk behind mower...but this isn't the me before it was discovered that my Carotid Arteries were pretty well plugged.  I would like to drop some of the medication, but checks and balances, are, for now, the name of the game.

 Speaking of games....tonight I am scheduled to be at Spencerville as they host St. Henry....both teams are still in the tournament.  This is a non tournament game, but if things go their way, I may have both teams in the District 4 Tournament @ Coldwater next week.  Spencerville needs a win over Ottoville on Friday, while St Henry takes on New Bremen in the Minster Sectional later this week as well.

Fact of the matter is however, tonight's game probably won't happen...deep dark clouds are in the area, and heavy rain in north towards Spencerville....I suspect my second rain out of the year is in hand.  Interesting week regardless....In addition to a Tournament game at Crestview on Wednesday, I have a JV game at Delphos tomorrow, and a Freshman doubleheader at Celina with rival Coldwater on Friday.  I suspect my days off will have make up games to finish off the week...then next week the District at Coldwater, before a couple of weeks off before ACME and American Legion baseball begin.

On one other Hockey note, despite the Flyers hopes fading, my "other" team, the CHL Fort Wayne Komets(yes it is spelled with a K, and on the verge of winning the Cup in that League....The "Ks" are up 3 games to one in the championship round....and a win at home tonight and Fort Wayne can hoist the Cup in the CHL:

The rains are moving in, and I'll be back later>>>>

Photos-Shots of a full moon are tough without the right camera and settings...but I continue to try.  The top was about 2 in the morning, taken with my cell phone, as I awoke to use the facilites, something common with a 63 year old male body in the nightime hours. Baseball High Schoo Tournament action is in full swing.  The sunrise over West Bank Park on Grand Lake was not much different from the setting full moon....the sun shots are just much easier to take and make look decent.  And the Komets can clinch the cup tonight with a home win....

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